NASCAR still looking at changes to Top 35 rule

Sprint Cup teams are looking forward to having four additional test sessions next season and they might have more things to test than they initially thought. Teams are awaiting 2013 rules and several team officials said over the weekend they anticipate NASCAR might give them a little more leeway in some areas of the car, while also restricting the ability to skew the rear of the cars. Not only will testing allow them to work now at the tracks that they race on, they also might need to work a little more on qualifying.

Teams also are anticipating that NASCAR will get rid of the top-35 rule and go back to the previous system of the top 36 (or 37 or 38) cars in qualifying making the race, with the remainder of the field set by provisionals based primarily on owner points. The top-35 rule guarantees the top 35 teams in owner points starting spots in each race. The rest of the field must make the race on speed.

Under the new format, all teams would have to qualify on speed or have enough owner points to be eligible for a provisional starting spot. NASCAR could announce that change and other new rules during a test at Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday for the 2013 Cup car. Kyle Busch said his Joe Gibbs Racing team already is experimenting with some ideas for next year. Busch said teams know the cars are going to be lighter by 100-160 pounds. He also said there will be aero changes that he said he would be the "test dummy" for at a tire test at Texas Motor Speedway in two weeks. Sporting News

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